Improvements to the health care system are a priority of the government, said Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson during the official opening of the Grand Bahama Family Medical Conference.
The conference, a joint effort between the Grand Bahama Health Services Family Medicine Continuing Education Committee and the Family Medicine Department of Tufts University School of Medicine, was held at Pelican Bay Resort under the theme, “Family Medicine Best Practices 2018.”
Thompson said the government is committed to improving health care in the country, and facilitating the development of medical tourism.
The recently opened fully operational West End Clinic, he said, is convenient for those in the west and added that plans are currently being looked at for a new hospital in Freeport.
The Rand Memorial Hospital continues to be renovated for additional clinic and bed space to better serve the needs of the community.
“The government has prioritized the maintenance of up-to-date medical facilities nationwide, and we believe that specialized medical care, inclusive of research, surgical procedures as well as clinical trials, can potentially attract scores of both domestic and international visitors annually visiting Grand Bahama as medical tourists alone.”
He said, “The Healthcare Industry has a vital role to play in revitalizing our economy. We would encourage medical facilities which cater to visitors who need treatment and rehabilitation in a safe and relaxing environment. Grand Bahama can be that place. According we are expecting a medical Research company, to open its doors in Grand Bahama this year.”
Preliminary discussions are currently being held with a medical school, similar to Ross University, in hopes of it relocating to Grand Bahama.
“We encourage those of you in the medical field and who call Grand Bahama home to encourage, persuade and initiate even more international conferences which can be of enormous benefit to our economy.
“These ventures signal significant strides for the medical field in The Bahamas, but also foreshadow a spike in other aspects of the economy such as housing, retail, food and entertainment, transportation, and insurance among others.
“The government anticipates that the advancement in medical technology in the Bahamas will coincide with Grand Bahama’s establishment as the technology hub as the Bahamas, and the region.
Therefore, we are committed to continuing to facilitate and increase educational and training opportunities to provide avenues for career growth for Bahamians in the medical field.”
This article was written by Robyn Adderley, Bahamas Information Services.